Mo is thriving, now. That wasn’t the case just last year.
Mo always struggled to communicate and fit in at school, with family, in the community. Despite Mo’s severe anxiety and low self-esteem, Mo had many strengths. After graduation, Mo was able to successfully secure an office job. But, Mo lacked many of the skills necessary to maintain a job. Mo was terrified to ask questions of their supervisor so they would call their mom at home to help figure things out. Even with support from her mother, work started to pile up in the office, phone calls weren’t being answered and emails were left unopened.
Needless to say, the job did not last long, and Mo was back home, alone with little to do, becoming more isolated, more lonely and more depressed. Mo never thought they would have an independent life. Mo became more isolated, and their depression became debilitating, even life-threatening. That is when Mo discovered they had an autism spectrum disorder.
Mo spent a lot of time on their computer, studying, researching, and reading and one day they found the Yes She Can website. Mo had actually been collecting American Girl dolls for years, they recall getting their first doll, Molly, from their aunt. As Mo read the website, they really thought this was just too good to be true.
Mo remembers saying aloud “A program for people with autism, for people like me, people that may understand my fears, anxieties, quirks AND I can bring my Molly doll with me for comfort this can’t be true.”
She pushed it aside for days, weeks, maybe even a month. Mo could not get the courage to pick up the phone and actually talk to someone, that was beyond terrifying for Mo. But somehow, one day they mustered the courage and very hesitantly called Yes She Can and scheduled an intake.
That was just step one, they still had to actually go to the meeting. As they approached the building the thought of just running definitely crossed their mind, but somehow, they fought through their anxieties, walked through the doors, and when they did their face lit up with excitement and anticipation. Yes She Can was a new beginning for them, a comfort zone where they could begin to learn, grow, and gain confidence to reach their potential.
Once accepted to the Yes She Can training program our skilled coaches broke through Mo’s anxiety and helped Mo focus on acquiring good communication skills, executive functioning skills, and emotional regulation skills, all essential skills to be able to perform at any job.
After a year of extensive training, Mo is thriving. Mo has gained skills, and developed the soft skills they were lacking when they left high school. Mo is more confident, asks questions when unsure, and contributes ideas to the team.
“I don’t know where I would be without Yes She Can”, says Mo, now on the right path to success at work and greater independence.
Mo is beginning the next phase – job exploration in hopes to get a job in the community knowing they will be much more successful with the skills and tools they have learned from the Yes She Can training program.
At Yes She Can we understand that securing a job is not only about learning the skill set if that were the case Mo might have not lost her first job. In order for someone to secure and maintain a job a person must be able to overcome their anxieties and have strong personal and social awareness. At Yes She Can we helped Mo to learn confidence, understand how to ask questions, and advocate for their needs. Mo now answers the phone with self-assurance, answers an array of questions from customers, and has learned not to panic if they don’t know the answer. Mo sends detailed emails to customers about merchandise, they greet customers in the store, and completes transactions.
Mo has autism. They have severe anxiety. They have low self-esteem. Our skilled coaches have broken through and helped Mo focus on acquiring skills and most importantly learning to appreciate their accomplishments.
The Yes She Can training program has a proven track record. While only 20% of adults with autism are employed, more than half of the Yes She Can graduates have jobs now! This is life-changing not just for the individual, but also for our society.
You can help more young women like Mo achieve their potential, and develop skills for employment and greater independence.
Sales from our Girl AGain boutique do help to support our program. But more than half of the funds come from grants and generous donors.
We need to raise $10,000 by year-end. If we do, the Yes She Can Board of Directors will match that with an additional donation. Together we can make a difference.
Please consider a donation today to Yes She Can.
You can make your donation in honor of someone you know or in honor of Mo’s accomplishments against the odds. Any amount will have an impact.
Mo tells their story:
Today you can help more young adults with autism develop the skills for employment and greater independence. Donate to Yes She Can!
Leave a Reply